Restorative Justice in Rural Alaska
Alaska Journal of Dispute Resolution 2012, Number 1
10 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2016
Date Written: 2012
A new wave of justice is finding its way into rural Alaska creating a climate of cooperation between State court Magistrates (local judges) and Native people in the remote villages. This community form of justice allows for more local participation using restorative justice principles and models that include input from victims, offenders and members of the community. This paper will introduce a profile of three restorative justice processes in rural Alaska and a working relationship between the western justice system of magistrates and the communities. Included are some challenges and limitations facing advocates of the process. In addition, this paper will include two restorative justice models in Canada that have influenced Alaska; the Restorative Community Conferencing (RCC) for young offenders in Yukon, Canada and Sentence Circles used in Carcross Yukon. The restorative justice process strives for more community and family based involvement using traditional and cultural values that strive for peaceful balance. Restorative justice can be seen as a healing process because it addresses all relationships and it offers a way in which “broken relationships can be repaired” (Van Ness & Strong, 1997, 2002, 2006).
Keywords: Restorative Justice, healing process, rural Alaska, Community-based restorative justice, Alaska Natives
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